- TQS Book Club
President Theodore Roosevelt once famously said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” To which any parent of an adolescent would respond, “Try telling that to my kid.”
At a certain point in childhood, all children naturally start comparing themselves and their abilities to those of their peers. Yet for children with complex challenges such as ADHD and learning disabilities, this juxtaposition can feel less like a comparison and more like a gauge of perceived “normalcy.”
“Why is it so difficult for me to learn to read?” ... “Why do I need to take medication to focus in class?” ... “Why is writing so much harder for me than other students in my classes?” ... “Why am I so great in art class but dread going to English class?” ...
“Why is school so hard for me?”
These are difficult conversations to have and hard questions to answer. Thankfully, we don’t have to do it alone.
For this month’s TQS Book Club, I’m sharing excellent resources for parents of adolescents who need support with talking to their children about their ADHD and learning disabilities, and teaching them to self-advocate. You can read (or listen to) these books and online resources on your own, or even with your child.
This book is the honest, straightforward description of how the two authors overcame their disabilities in order to graduate from Brown University at the top of their class. The authors not only destigmatize learning disabilities, but also offer concrete strategies for everything from self-advocacy to note-taking — all while telling a fun, compelling story. You and your child will both enjoy the book and leave feeling empowered, equipped with strategies, and wanting to read it again. (Important note: the language trends toward the spicy, so it should be read by older adolescents only.)
This online resource provides a wealth of both introductory and in-depth information on ADHD, how it is diagnosed, and how it is treated. It simplifies a complex condition in both video and written format, and would be appropriate to explore with your child or teen.
In this toolkit, you can dive deeper into the topic by experiencing a simulation of ADHD through a child’s eyes, exploring a collection of personal stories, getting evidence-based behavior strategies for educators, and more. It’s a great one-stop-shop for really understanding this diagnosis, and it will help your student come away informed and ready to advocate for themselves.
This web resources begins by saying: “You should know this: You’re not stupid.” And it just gets better from there.
These easy-to-find (and read) articles are written by luminaries in the field of learning disabilities and are geared toward students. They teach adolescents everything from the neurological basis of dyslexia; to study tips; to how to plan for, apply to, and choose a college. I believe these articles are a must read for every student with dyslexia.
By exploring books and resources written by and for individuals with the same conditions as our children, we can help remove the stigma of “other” and encourage adolescents to recognize their own strengths.
Do you have any other book or resource suggestions for helping adolescents explore their complex challenges and begin to self-advocate? Share in the comments below, join the conversation on Facebook, and make sure you subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss future TQS Book Club recommendations!